Visitors to the Ha Noi Sound Stuff Festival witnessed the development of a new generation of Vietnamese sound artist through performances by Nguyen Hong Nhung.
Nhung, a high-school student in Ha Noi used to study classical piano, but is now engaged in electronic music with her project Sound Awakener. Culture Vulture interviews her about the project.
Did you debut at the Ha Noi Sound Stuff last month? What impressed you at the festival ?
My performance at Ha Noi Sound Stuff was not my debut, but it was the first time I attended the festival. I was impressed by the wonderful musical energy and people, both the artists and the audience.
Sound Stuff gave me the opportunity to connect with new people. I spent a lot of time talking with foreign artists. We exchanged a lot of ideas and I hope it will lead to more collaborations.
You are regarded as a new generation of Vietnamese sound artist with the Sound Awakener project. Please describe it.
I have never thought I was among a new generation of Vietnamese sound artists. I am just doing what I love. All I want to do is to create and explore my sonic world through the Sound Awakener project.
Sound Awakener is first my solo experimental music project. I formed it back in summer 2011 with the aim of exploring my musical ability.
I've mainly worked with laptop and sometimes instruments including acoustic piano, chimes, music box, and daily objects like kid's toys and kitchen utensils. I record, design and manipulate everything by myself, from field recordings and tape sounds to generative sounds.
Bloggers and writers tend to categorise my music as electro-acoustic, sound art, ambient – or even just "noise".
I personally don't care. I only focus on creating an endless sonic world, where the connection between music, awareness, nature and technology appears.
I started publishing my tracks on the Internet in summer 2014 and I was surprised by the good feedback.
Sound Awakener has been an important part of my life since the hard work in the beginning. It is like an endless world for me more than just musical ego.
How long did you learn piano and why did you make this decision? Were you supported by your family?
From 2002 to 2007 I studied classical piano. The connection between me and piano is really strong and I practice every day. There is a lot of piano sound in my experimental tracks.
My family did not know I played experimental music until the end of 2014. Since then they have always supported me.
Do you think Ha Noi Sound Stuff helps international musicians know Vietnamese music?
Yes. It has a reputation for connecting Vietnamese and international artists. It really helps international musicians get an idea about it.
Electro music is full of energy and freedom and is getting more attention thanks to the Internet and its appearance at music venues, clubs and bars.
What's your work at present ?
Practising for upcoming experimental shows and focusing on producing new music. I have just had an album out with Linear Bells from France titled Belonging to Infinity and several collaborations with foreign visual and video artists. It is good to live and breathe music. — VNS